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First female pastor at NY’s famed Riverside Church ousted after allegedly taking ministers to sex shop

NEW YORK — The Rev. Amy K. Butler, the first female pastor of New York City’s famed Riverside Church who revealed last year that she was sexually harassed at the church, is now being ousted from her post. The pastor is facing allegations that her colleagues felt “pressured” to follow her to a sex shop during a church conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she gifted a vibrator to one female minister.

The progressive Riverside Church, which has hosted iconic political and cultural figures like Martin Luther King Jr., former President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela, announced earlierthis month that they would not be renewing Butler’s contract after five years but did not state a reason.

“Rev. Dr. Amy Butler and the Riverside Church Council are announcing that after five years of leadership, Pastor Amy will not be renewing her contract as Senior Minister. As Pastor Amy’s contract has approached its end, both she and our congregational leadership have been prayerfully discerning how best to fulfill the work of God in the world to which they are called,” the church said in part.

On Thursday, the New York Post published a report alleging that Butler lost her job due to complaints that she took two Riverside Church assistant ministers and a female congregant to the Smitten Kitten sex shop in Minneapolis during a trip to the 27th annual Festival of Homiletics, a week-long conference where the 49 year old presided over the closing worship service.

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